April 22, 2020

West Windsor Arts Council Celebrates Volunteers

HONORING VOLUNTEERS: Maureen Connolly-Hersh, right, of West Windsor is one of five individuals recognized as a Volunteer of the Year by the West Windsor Arts Council for their commitment to both the arts and the community.

To mark National Volunteer Week, the West Windsor Arts Council (WWAC) is recognizing the more than 135 individuals who help the organization through furthering the arts. WWAC volunteers help in many ways from organizing and running exhibitions, to event support, fundraising, serving on advisory committees, and by providing leadership through board membership.

The most recent volunteer project at WWAC is to make masks for medical support staff dealing with COVID-19. Called the “WWArts 1000 Mask Donation,” the organization’s volunteers, many of whom are artists and craftspeople, are making masks to be distributed in partnership with the Mercer Mask Project.

The organization has singled out five dedicated individuals who went above and beyond in service this past year, awarding them each the Volunteer of the Year award.

Chris Mittendorf of Plainsboro and Maureen Connolly-Hersh of West Windsor are recognized for their high-level commitment to both the arts and to the community. High school students Zia Ostawal, Julia Kundu, and Anika Kapoor are recognized for the hours they have given to the Arts Council and for their steadfast readiness to help.

Mittendorf chaired the 2019 STEAM Series Art Show: Math and Art, doing everything from writing the prospectus and press release, to helping with the hanging of the show, and hosting the reception. Since then, he has volunteered at many other exhibitions, including the Off the Wall Affordable Art Show. He recently took a leadership role on the art auction committee during planning for the 2020 Blank Canvas Gala and Art Auction.

Connolly-Hersh has been a volunteer with the West Windsor Arts Council since 2018. In the past year, she has served on committees to plan the first ArtWalk in 2019 and for the 2020 Blank Canvas Gala and Art Auction. For the ArtWalk, she designed a lawn sign art scavenger hunt and involved her family. For the past two years, she has been part of the MLK Day of Service through her connections with WWAC and the WW Human Relations Council.

Ostawal, a sophomore at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, has volunteered over 75 hours since the spring of 2019, helping at fundraisers, art exhibitions, theater classes, summer camp, many events including Winter Warm Up, and most recently at the first Tin Ceiling Presents concert.

Kundu, a sophomore at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, started as a volunteer in the summer of 2019. She was a part of the Summer Friday Afternoon Crew and also helped at various events including art show receptions, performance of the Out of this World Performance Troupe, Winter Warm Up, Artisan Market, Autumn Arts Afternoon, Food Truck Festival, and assisted at birthday parties.

Kapoor, a junior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, began volunteering in July of 2019 and quickly became a regular at WWAC events. She has helped at art show receptions, open houses, the art project table at the Food Truck Festival, the Summer Friday Afternoon Crew, and the summer camp aftercare program.

For more information, visit www.westwindsorarts.org/volunteer.